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Revisiting the Earth’s sea‐level and energy budgets from 1961 to 2008

Citation

Church, JA and White, NJ and Konikow, LF and Domingues, CM and Cogley, JG and Rignot, E and Gregory, JM and van den Broeke, MR and Monaghan, AJ and Velicogna, I, Revisiting the Earth's sea‐level and energy budgets from 1961 to 2008, Geophysical Research Letters, 38, (18) pp. 1-8. ISSN 0094-8276 (2011) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2011 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1029/2011GL048794

Abstract

We review the sea-level and energy budgets together from 1961, using recent and updated estimates of all terms. From 1972 to 2008, the observed sea-level rise (1.8 ± 0.2 mm yr−1 from tide gauges alone and 2.1 ± 0.2 mm yr−1 from a combination of tide gauges and altimeter observations) agrees well with the sum of contributions (1.8 ± 0.4 mm yr−1) in magnitude and with both having similar increases in the rate of rise during the period. The largest contributions come from ocean thermal expansion (0.8 mm yr−1) and the melting of glaciers and ice caps (0.7 mm yr−1), with Greenland and Antarctica contributing about 0.4 mm yr−1. The cryospheric contributions increase through the period (particularly in the 1990s) but the thermosteric contribution increases less rapidly. We include an improved estimate of aquifer depletion (0.3 mm yr−1), partially offsetting the retention of water in dams and giving a total terrestrial storage contribution of −0.1 mm yr−1. Ocean warming (90% of the total of the Earth's energy increase) continues through to the end of the record, in agreement with continued greenhouse gas forcing. The aerosol forcing, inferred as a residual in the atmospheric energy balance, is estimated as −0.8 ± 0.4 W m−2 for the 1980s and early 1990s. It increases in the late 1990s, as is required for consistency with little surface warming over the last decade. This increase is likely at least partially related to substantial increases in aerosol emissions from developing nations and moderate volcanic activity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:radiative imbalance, energy budget, sea level budget, climate change
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical Oceanography
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Climate and Climate Change
Objective Field:Climate Change Models
UTAS Author:Domingues, CM (Dr Catia Domingues)
ID Code:100046
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:250
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2015-04-26
Last Modified:2017-11-01
Downloads:265 View Download Statistics

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